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An Interview with Abdul Mahir Hazim, Foreign Law Intern

Today’s interview is with Abdul Mahir Hazim, a foreign law intern.   Mahir, who recently earned his Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Asian and comparative law from the University of Washington School of Law, is currently working with Tariq Ahmad on research related to the laws of Afghanistan.

Describe your background.

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Photo by Abdul Mahir Hazim.

I was born and raised in Panjshir province, Afghanistan. I earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the Administrative and Diplomacy Department, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Al Beroni University. After graduation, I took the bar exam and was licensed to practice in Kabul city. At the same time, I had to complete a one-year legal internship offered by the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association. I also worked with the Justice for All Organization for a couple of years where I represented indigent clients before the Office of the Attorney General and courts in family, civil, and criminal cases. Later, I worked with the Global Rights-Partners for Justice, an international organization, as a program officer and senior program officer, where I managed legal education and legal advice programs for law and Sharia students and indigent clients. I have been working at Al Beroni University as an assistant professor since 2013. I have taught comparative constitutional law, labor law, civil procedure, and family law. I am a founding member of the Family Law Committee of Afghanistan Bar Association. In addition, I am a partner with Alliance for International Women’s Rights where I work to expand the mentorship program for female law and Sharia professors, judges, leaders, and defense attorneys.

I recently obtained my Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Asian and comparative law from University of Washington School of Law through the sponsorship of the Legal Education Support Program-Afghanistan (LESPA).

I enjoy having friends and colleagues from different ethnicities, regions, religions, races, genders, and cultures. I am very much interested in working with governmental and non-profit organizations that provide legal and educational services, especially those that strive to provide legal education, and protect and promote human rights and the rights of vulnerable people. I am determined to obtain my P.h.D. and to continue working as an academic in the future. My areas of interest are human rights, humanitarian law, international criminal law, constitutional law, family law, and civil procedure.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am a foreign law intern at the Law Library of Congress. I conduct research on different issues relating to the Afghan legal system. My current projects include writing an overview of the country’s guardianship law and providing updates on legal developments in Afghanistan for the Law Library’s electronic publication, Global Legal Monitor.

Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?

The Law Library of Congress provides an environment that supports continuous learning of new skills and acquisition of knowledge, and it affords me a unique opportunity to utilize what I have learned in the past with regard to writing articles and developing legal reports. I also believe that working at the Library of Congress, one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, will help pave the way for me to further my education and develop my professional background.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

It is very interesting for me to see different people from around the world working here. I also really like the welcoming environment of the Law Library of Congress. Everyone is very friendly and willing to help.

What is something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

I am a big fan of soccer (especially European leagues), and I love photography. It might sound strange, but I don’t like to play soccer and I am not a good photographer.

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